Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Montara Mt Trail Half-Marathon -- 1:51:00

I completed my first race since my aborted attempt at Western States 100 last June. It went really well! I ran the Montara Mountain half-marathon trail race, which goes up and down Montara Mt and around San Pedro Valley Park in Pacifica, with 2900' of elevation gain. It took me 1 hour 51 minutes which is just a couple of minutes shy of my best performance on this course. I won a 2nd place age group (40-49) award and was 6th overall. I didn't trip or fall, which is a definite hazard on this course.

I could sense that my uphill pace was not as fast as I used to be able to do, but I was able to keep a good strong effort the entire time and I felt like I could fly on the downhills. Relative to the other runners, I was faster on the downhills and a bit slower on the uphills.

I've run this race twice before. In 2006, it took me 2 hours 1 minute 28 seconds. In 2007, it took me approximately 1 hour 49 minutes.

It was great seeing so many members of my running club, the Coastside Running Club. And my wonderful wife ran the 10K, with a 3rd place age group award. Good job, Jennifer!

IT Band Injury
I'm finally over an iliotibial band injury, thanks to finding a physical therapist that could help me. I think one of the keys to staying healthy as a runner is to do regular strength training. It doesn't have to be a lot, but go to the gym two or three times a week, or adopt a home workout, and work out the different muscle groups. For me, my gluteous medius muscles had gotten weak which caused my knee to bend inwards too much. Getting over my iliotibial band pain syndrome (also called iliotibial band friction syndrome) involved learning a few exercises and learning them correctly. The key ones for me were the clamshells, side leg lifts (being sure to point the toe downward when raising the leg), one-legged step downs, one legged sit-to-stands, and one-legged box jumps. If you have this problem, I highly recommending finding a knowledgeable physical therapist, who can test your IT band flexibility and determine the underlying cause, which is often muscle weakness. I went to Stanford Outpatient Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, in Redwood City, and my physical therapist was Jo. Thanks, Jo!

Random Data
  • Weighed 169.2 lbs in the morning. (I've gained weight since I've run so little since early last May, when I injured myself.)
  • 166.0 after I got home
  • 167.0 the next morning

I carried around 16 oz of sports drink at the start and added another 8 oz or so at the one aid station at mile 7. I ran out of sports drink on the switchbacks of the Hazelnut Trail, and I wanted to drink more, but I seemed to have enough energy and I didn't feel like I had bonked.

I wore Hoka One One trail running shoes, which helped me fly on the downhills.

I highly recommend Coastal Trail Runs -- they put on well-organized affordable trail races. They had chip timing and finishers medals and dry-weave tech t-shirts. The trails were superbly well-marked.